Driver was eight times over drug-drive limit when he led police on chase through Peterborough

A Peterborough man who led police on a late night chase through Peterborough while eight times over the legal drug limit has been jailed.

Friday, 15th June 2018, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:51 pm
Jamie Merilion

Jamie Merilion (26) of Sprignall, Bretton, was arrested by officers following the short pursuit through Woodston in January.

Officers detected a strong smell of cannabis from Merilion and from the VW Polo he was driving - and when he was taken to Thorpe Wood Police Station a blood test was taken and he gave a reading of 17.5mg of cannabis per litre of blood - the legal limit is just 2mg.

Today (Friday) he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court where he was jailed for 13 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, driving with a controlled drug in is system, driving with no insurance, driving with no licence and breaching a suspended sentence.

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His solicitor, Amanda Bailey, asked Judge Matthew Lowe to impose a suspended sentence and give Merilion one last chance - but Judge Lowe said he would be 'failing in his public duty' if he did not send him straight to prison.

Edmund Blackman, prosecuting, told the court: "At about 11pm the officers were on patrol in Fletton High Street, when they saw a red VW Polo driven by the defendant travelling in the opposite direction.

"The Polo triggered the ANPR system as it was uninsured. The officers turned around to try and stop the car.

"The defendant did not stop and made off at around 40mph in a 30mph zone. The officers had their lights and siren turned on.

"The defendant overtook a car and accelerated to 45mph.

"He then went through a red light without braking, and turned without indicating.

"He went along Oundle Road, and items were thrown out of the driver and passenger windows.

"Police decided to end the pursuit, an deiliberatley hit the car.

"The defendant and the passenger - his girlfriend - made off on foot but were arrested."

Mr Blackman said Merilion had a long record, with convictions for robbery, burglary and theft.

He was given a two month sentence suspended for 18 months, in November 2016 for sending a letter/communication containing a threat. That sentence was still in operation when he committed the offences in January.

He was also arrested for driving with drugs in his system, driving with no insurance and driving without a licence, and was under investigation in January when he committed the other offences. He was later given a suspended jail sentence for those offences.

Miss Bailey said: "This young man is 26-years-old - quite an immature 26-years-old - but he is not a man without hope or skills.

"In his words, his actions were 'abject stupidity.'

"He is humble and full of remorse."

Miss Bailey said Merilion was keen to address his 13 year cannabis problem - but a probation officer said he had been given the chance to address the addiction with previous sentences, and he had not engaged with officers.

Sentencing, Judge Lowe said Merilion had an 'appalling record.'

He added: "You drove in a dangerous manner with a significant quantity of cannabis flowing through your system and flowing through your brain. Dribing in that way in my judgement exposed the public to serious risk of arm - if not seriously worse - and also put yourself and your passenger at that risk."

Merilion was jailed for 12 months for the drug driving offences, and one month for the suspended sentence.

He was also given a three year disqualification - which will start in six months, when Merilion will be due for release from prison on licence.